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October 17, 2017

Red Christmas


Craig Anderson - 2017
Artsploitation Films BD Region A

When a movie gets sent to me for review, even one not specifically requested, I try to give it a chance. While I understand that some films are intentionally provocative, my problem is not only that I find Red Christmas muddleheaded, but completely dispiriting.

A montage of footage of pro-life and anti-abortion protests culminates in a scene with an abortion clinic bombed. A man surveys the damage and sees a small hand appearing out of a yellow bucket. Twenty years later, someone named Cletus (rhymes with fetus) with a heavily bandaged face, cloaked in black, is in search of his mother. Appearing at home of the matriarch played by Dee Wallace, an attempted Christmas day family reunion goes very much awry.

The opening scene of murder in Deep Red is deeper, redder and more evocative of Christmas than the whole of Red Christmas. Anderson might have been better off had he emphasized the Australian location, with December being the height of Summer, rather than passing off the setting as generic North America. Even as a horror film, Red Christmas is too bland to distinguish itself.

The blu-ray comes with a commentary track. More interesting is the interview with Dee Wallace with the actress discussing some of the highlights of her career. Best is the frequently funny interview with Gerard O'Dwyer, an actor with Down's Syndrome, whose role in Red Christmas borders on the autobiographical.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at October 17, 2017 07:33 AM